Ericus Olai

Swedish historian and theologian

1401   -   1486

country of citizenship: Sweden
occupation: historian, theologian

Ericus Olai (died 1486) of Uppsala was a Swedish theologian and historian, and an early proponent of Gothicismus. Olai studied in Rostock (enrolled in 1447, graduated 1452). After working as canon in Uppsala, he became doctor of theology in Siena in 1475. In 1477 he was appointed professor of theology at the newly founded Uppsala University, and he was made dean at Uppsala cathedral in 1479. He died on Christmas eve in 1486 and was buried in Uppsala cathedral. His tomb was the center of a substantial local tradition of veneration of the "holy doctor Ericius". His tombstone was destroyed in a fire in 1702. Olai initiated what would become the Gothicismus movement of Swedish Romantic nationalism in his Chronica Regni Gothorum, an account of Swedish history until 1468 (completed before 1475). The Chronica was first edited in 1615 by John Messenius and became influential in early modern Swedish historiography.
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